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Early Onset and atypical Alzheimer’s Disease

Approximately 5% of patients with Alzheimer’s disease develop symptoms before age 65, without a known genetic cause. In this study, we use comprehensive clinical evaluations, cerebrospinal fluid (optional) and genetic analyses, and MRI and PET imaging to improve our understanding and diagnosis of early onset and atypical Alzheimer’s disease.

Summary

  • Study director: Gil Rabinovici, MD
  • Sponsor: National Institute on Aging
  • Official study title: Early Age-of-Onset AD: Clinical Heterogeneity and Network Degeneration

Tacie Moskowitz

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Tacie grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Wesleyan University in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in cognitive psychology and Science in Society. As an undergraduate, she became interested in the study of memory and participated in episodic memory research that tested the usefulness of SenseCam technology developed by Microsoft Research.

Tacie's love of the outdoors and interest in UCSF's Memory and Aging Center inspired her to move to the Bay Area in August 2014. She is an Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator for the Quest Diagnostics Neurobehavioral Screen.

Mikhail Pakvasa

Clinical Research Coordinator

Mikhail graduated from UC Berkeley in 2014 with a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. At Berkeley he researched hormonal gene regulation. He joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2015 as a research coordinator for Dr. Marilu Gorno-Tempini, investigating primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and dyslexia.

Averill Cantwell

Clinical Research Coordinator

Averill Cantwell graduated from Harvard University in May 2013 with a concentration in government and secondary field in neurobiology. She joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in May 2014 as a research coordinator for Dr. Gil Rabinovici's study of early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Kirby Lee, PharmD, MAS

Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy

Kirby Lee, PharmD, MA, MAS is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco. He provides clinical services for the Complex Care Support Team and Discharge Call-Back Program at UCSF Medical Center where he consults patients and providers on medication-related issues that arise at home and during transitions in care. His research interests include the use of patient-centered health information technology to improve medication safety and health outcomes and evidence-based health care. He is developing innovative medication management services and leading projects using quantitative and qualitative research methods to optimize medication use by patients and providers.

Dr. Lee teaches geriatric pharmacotherapy and is developing practical and applied teaching methods for simulating real world clinical practice to advance students’ problem solving skills and interprofessional teamwork. He is a member of the Interprofessional Education Curriculum Development Working Group at UCSF and teaches pharmacy, medical, nursing, dental and physical therapy students in the classroom and clinic.

Christie Yeung

Research Coordinator

Christie grew up in San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from San Francisco State University in 2010 with a bachelor of science degree in apparel design and merchandising with a minor in marketing. While attending school, she became interested in gerontology and worked as a research associate at UCSF in the Department of Geriatrics under Principal Investigator Alexander Smith, MD, MPH. It was then that she put her native language, Cantonese, to use as she studied and interviewed participants for multiple studies which included the publishing of the journal article ”Perceptions of Successful Aging Among Diverse Elders with Late-Life Disability."

Outside of her career life, you will find Christie reading her favorite magazines at local coffee shops, hiking, and attending art & wine festivals. Christie joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in October 2014 working under Dr. Howie Rosen. She is a research coordinator for the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) and the Dementia Care Ecosystem.

Care Ecosystem: Navigating Patients and Families through Stages of Care

Most dementia care today is crisis-oriented and impersonal. To break away from the cycle of stressful and costly issues that arise from a reactive and generic approach, the Care Ecosystem will emphasize coordinated, continuous and personalized care. This proactive care model aims to improve patient satisfaction and caregiver health, and reduce avoidable emergency room visits, hospitalizations or institutionalization.

Summary

Gabe Marx

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Gabe grew up in the Bay Area before heading to Ohio to study neuroscience at Oberlin College, graduating in 2014. During his summers, Gabe garnered research experience by working in various neuroscience labs such as Dr. Sofia Vinogradov’s lab at the San Francisco VA researching cognitive training as a therapy for sensory deficits in schizophrenia as well as Dr. Rene Hen’s lab at Columbia University investigating hippocampal neurogenesis in rodent models. Gabe first began his work in neuroimaging while studying abroad in Budapest, Hungary. While working at the Budapest Center for Complex Systems and Computational Neuroscience, Gabe worked on advanced techniques in connectivity analysis of functional MRI data. This work was continued back at Oberlin with his advisor, Dr. Patrick Simen. There, Gabe investigated networks activated in two-point decision making paradigms through fMRI data.

Gabe joined the Memory and Aging Center in September 2014. He is an imaging core analyst and clinical research coordinator for Dr. Rosen’s Neuroimaging in Frontotemporal Dementia study—a longitudinal study aimed at determining which imaging modalities and biomarkers help predict the onset and monitor the progression of frontotemporal dementia.

Gabe currently lives in Oakland. In his free time, Gabe is an active musician and songwriter.

James Fraser

Project Manager

James Fraser received his bachelor’s degree and a certificate in project management from the University of Washington.

James’s career has involved work in research data coordination and project management. He has held research project management positions at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), Group Health Research Institute (GHRI), and the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation in Seattle, Washington. While at FHCRC, James worked on the NIH-funded Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study and coordinated its ancillary studies through the University of Washington’s Clinical Research Center. He was a project manager for AHRQ-funded contracts regarding clinical preventive services, team-based primary care, and patients with multiple chronic conditions.

James joined the Memory and Aging Center in September 2014 and is the project manager for the CMS-funded Care Ecosystem study, an innovative clinical program that builds on the UCSF Memory and Aging Center's 15-year history of offering high-quality dementia care, while incorporating the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s specialized expertise in functional monitoring and rural dementia care. By supporting family caregivers, keeping patients healthy, and helping them prepare together for advancing illness, this study aims to improve satisfaction with care, prevent emergency-related health care costs, and keep patients in the home longer.

Cheyanne Rofe

Research Intern

Cheyanne is a junior at UC Berkeley, studying molecular and cell biology with an emphasis in immunology. She joined the Seeley Selective Vulnerability Research Laboratory as a research intern in February 2014. Cheyanne assists with the Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank as well as brain blocking procedures to generate histology information for neuropathological studies.

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